21.11.2008; 01.12.2008; 02.12.2008; 03.12.2008; Хотел “Best Western “, Скопје
Генерален секретаријат на влада на република Македонија во соработка со норвешката поддршка за Македонија и Центарот за истражување и креирање политики – ЦИКП Скопје
9:15-9:30 Регистрација на учесници и отварање на обуката
9:30-10:15 Воведни излагања за процесот на креирање политики и потребата од анализа на состојбата и пораки (најдобра пракса) од Норвешка
10:15-10:45 Појаснување на проблемот
10:45-11:15 Вежба (работа во групи – пример за проблем во јавната политика) и кафе
11:15-11:45 Презентација на работата во групи
11:45-12:30 Утврдување на потреба за дополнително истражување на проблемот и анализа на засегнати страни
12:30-13:00 Вежба (работа во групи – организација на истражување и анализа на засегнати страни за пример проблемот во јавната политика)
13:00-13:30 Презентација на работата во групи
13:30-14:30 Ручек + Кафе пауза
14:30 – 15:15 Анализа на собраните податоци и распространување на извештајот
15:15-16:00 Вежба (работа во групи – организација на аналитичкиот извештај и дефинирање на план за распространување на извештајот)
16:00-16:30 Презентација на работата во групи
Вкупниот број на учесници на овие обуки е 74, од кои 60 пополнија листи за евалуација на обуката. Евалуацијата на обуката беше извршена по три критериуми:
1. Организација. Во овој дел 80% од учесниците оценија дека организациските аспекти на обуката биле многу добри, дека обучувачите користеа доволно образовни помагала и дека времетраењето на обуката беше соодветно. Во врска со времетраењето на обуката, останатите 20% беа со поделени мислења. Една половина од нив сметаа дека обуката треба да трае 4 часа, а другата половина 2 дена.
2. Содржина. Најголемиот дел од учесниците (80%) сметаа дека информациите обезбедени за време на презентациите и вежбите беа интересни и корисни, при тоа давајќи највисока оценка. Што се однесува до Прирачникот, 60% од учесниците го оценија како разбирлив, корисен и применлив во македонски контекст, додека пак останатите коментари беа дека учесниците немале доволно време да го разгледаат (бидејќи беше доставен за време на обуката, како дел од материјалите).
3. Обучувачи. Од 80% од учесниците обучувачите беа оценети со позитивни оценки, што се однесува до нивните презентациски вештини, нивното знаење за тоа што го предаваат и успешноста во одржување на интересот на учесниците на високо ниво за време на обуката. 15% од учесниците имаа скромни и негативните оценки за презентациските вештини и експертизата на обучувачите.
Training Session Report
SITUATION ANALYSIS IN THE PROCESS OF POLICY MAKING
(Skopje 17 Nov, 1-3 Dec)
Four training sessions took place in the time span of two weeks in Skopje. All training sessions were administered by Marija Risteska M.A. and Nikola Stalevski M.A. The first training session was a pilot, it allowed us to test the effectiveness of the presentation of the material and the tools used, to obtain feedback regarding the content of the training sessions and the manual by the target group, the civil servants themselves. The fist pilot session was held in the “Journalists’ Club” while the core three sessions took place in the “Best Western Hotel”. From a logistical standpoint all of the sessions did not encounter any unforeseen problems. The equipment and materials were delivered on time for each session and each session started and finished within the planned time frame, according to the agenda. Due to the differences in dynamics and working groups for each sessions the internal scheduling did change during some of the sessions. This was in response to the needs and perceived interests of the participants. However, the trainers adapted the duration of each portion ensuring that all modules of the training were covered in sufficient detail and that the participants had the opportunity to acquire first hand experience by completing all the exercises during their workshops.
The number of participants that followed the entire duration of the training was 60, initially 74 showed up for the first morning session. From those attending there as a fairly broad distribution between ministries including representatives from all ministries in the Government of Macedonia. The session progressed in good collaborative spirit and attentiveness by the participants. Naturally diversity in the groups and the individual engagement and interest did mean that some sessions were more interactive and more engaging than others. Whenever appropriate the trainers included practical examples and sought to solicit contributions from the participants and to stimulate them to think and contribute to relevant examples during the lecture. The working groups also did reflect this diversity of interest and exercise. In almost all cases the participants did find the examples interesting, did engage and completed the assigned tasks and sometimes the presentations did evolve into very vibrant discussion. The over all feeling was that this was a well designed process which kept the participants engaged and involved (which is reflected in the evolutions).
One major exception was the last training session on 4th December. There was a group of participants from the General Secretariat (and one participant in particular) who were very rude and disrespectful throughout the entire training. They do not work with policy making in their day to day activities, all were recent hires in the Secretariat, working on logistical operations for meetings. They used this opportunity to spread party propaganda in favor of the current government, repeatedly interrupted and questioned the validity of the data (officially provided by the state bodies), took examples out of context, and harassed the trainers every time when they deemed that something implicitly negative was said about the performance of government programmes. They even called upon a representative of the Agency for Employment to come to the training and check the validity of our data (ironically this individual was one of the professionals who provided us with data and were interviewed during the preparatory phase of the Manual). This adversely affected the entire process, some participant did leave, luckily the majority did stay. We managed to calm the situation and regain control of the training, completing the entire curriculum that day. Some of the remaining participants did personally come up to and shared that this was still a useful exercise, even despite the rude objection of the select few.
Course of training
The trainers arrived at the hotel between 8:30-8:45 and checked that the materials were in place, that the room and the equipment, and the accompanying training aids (flip chart etc.) were ready. The vast majority of the participants had arrived by 9:00. At this point the lead trainer Maria provided more information about the project (including its aims, time frame and products) and introduced the project partners. As the participants had not met each other before, the training started with a warm up exercise where the trainers (Marija Risteska, Nikola Stalevski and Anne Kallberg) and the participants briefly introduced themselves by stating their name, institution of origin, and gave a personal example of something in their life that makes them proud. This type of exercise allowed for a basic introduction of the percipients, facilitated the communication during the trainings and “broke the ice” for contributions by the participants, as all had a chance to speak.
Marija started the first session of the training where the basis of the definition of public policy and the policy making cycle were covered. Further, the process of drafting Situation Analysis was placed in the broader context of policy making. She highlighted the scope and the integral parts of Situation Analysis, and further emphasized the benefits and the potential applicability of this tool in the broader policy making cycle.
Sharing examples from Norwegian practice, Anne Kallberg, started her presentation by speaking in general about the manner of promoting the professional information oriented drafting of policy (focusing on the norms, institutions and work practices). Further she emphasized the deliberative processes which take place Norwegian government process and the use of information gathered during the Situation Analysis activities for supporting the argumentation and guiding decision making during these processes. Finally she shared a practical example of the use of this tool for the improvement of the impact of social housing policies in Norway.
Nikola started the core part of the training by outlining the integral parts of drafting a Situation Analysis and presenting the first step – Defining the problem. Focusing on the key activities and expected results of this first phase, this session covered several aspects of this process, namely, the key activities (forming a working group and advisory group, the methodology of organizing these groups) and the key outputs (initially defined problem, initial draft of SWOT analysis components, broad list of stakeholders, initial draft of goals which are envisaged in the policy). It was emphasized that this initial phase is a brainstorming session where it is important to gather basic input on all components, to divide tasks and reporting structure for the further research, to define the research questions, and to keep an open consultative process throughout the research in order to build a consensus among the working group members.
In the practical portion, over a coffee refreshment, the participants completed the first exercise which required of them to consider the problem of unemployment in Macedonia, and to draft an initial definition of the problem, the influencing factors, to define the aims which would alleviate the identified problems, and finally to draft a list of additional information which is necessary to be collected for in-depth analysis. The discussion was lively and did produce a wide variety of definitions of the problem and the trainers illustrated the strong points of specific concrete definitions of problems and aims, along with the weaker more general definitions which were presented.
The second phase of Situation Analysis, presented by Marija, focused on the manner and tools for conducting research. She highlighted the relevant sources for quantitative and qualitative data, (such as statistical data, monitoring and evaluation reports, office reports etc.) for the problems and the identified target groups. Special emphasis was placed on gathering data regarding the public discourse and the sources for this information. Further, the relevant applicability of the two type of information and the tools used to gather this information were discussed (field survey, focus groups, interviews, journals measurements etc.).
The following practical exercise allowed the participants to conduct an initial overview of a problem (based on data provided in tables) to draw specific conclusions about the problem, in turn identifying the specific research questions which emerge from these identified needs. They proceeded to identify which types of qualitative and quantitative data were needed, and the sources and the action plan to collect this information. There was some variety in the questions and target groups identified, and less variety in the sources and types of information to be collected. The later part was highly dependent on the practical experience and background of the participants, where some focused on methodology of collecting data, some more on review of official state documents and information etc.
After lunch the training continued with an overview of the importance and the benefits of including key stakeholders for the process of drafting and implementing policy, and specifically the way that they can be animated and included during the Situation Analysis. It should be an open and participative process where the stakeholders have a feeling that they are actively participating in the entire process. The categorization of stakeholders on the in the categories influence (in adopting the policy) and importance (for the implantation of the policy) was introduced as a way to categorize key stakeholders and to assess their value for this policy. Further, general points on strategies (along with several examples of concrete strategies) were shared to prepare the participants for the next practical exercise.
The last formal lecture portion of the training, conducted by Nikola, Focused on the writing and the dissemination of the report. He highlighted the structural aspects of the report, the key information which should be clearly visible, the need for good planning and division of tasks (for timely completion and inclusion of key stakeholder opinions). Then regarding the dissemination strategy an attempt was made to broaden the view beyond the formal obligatory mechanisms (cover letter, report, memorandums) and thus to connect it with the previous lecture on the manner of involving key stakeholders. Several of the identified methods included: adapting executive summaries and cover letters with a focus on the needs of the reader/stakeholder, multi level influence, other non written mechanism (meetings phone calls, web-based) etc. The formal lectures finish with a short emphasis on the role that System Analysis reports can play in promoting Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic integrations, by creating an institutional body of knowledge which clearly reflects the need and the preferences of Macedonian society and demonstrates the capacity of the state to design and implement research supported policy.
During the exercise sessions the participants did two types of exercises. In the first one group identified and categorized the key stakeholders for a specific policy (obligatory High School education), further to design a strategy to reach out and include them in the process. The second group designed the structure of the report and a strategy for disseminating the same to key stakeholders.
In the end the participant signed the exit list of participants and filled out evaluation forms.